A few short weeks ago, Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator arrived on the scene and life has not been the same since. From fan art to fan fiction, these seven men (and their adorable kids) have stolen the collective heart of the entire internet. The dating sim’s combination of diverse characters (including a trans dad and a trans avatar for players), instantly meme-able art and dialogue, and overall charming style has everyone swooning. Dream Daddy’s premise is straightforward: your avatar, a lonely single dad, moves to a new town where every man he meets is also a single dad, open for romancing… and that’s where the fun begins!
Here are some books to help you best connect with the dad of your dreams:
Mat “Cool Dad” Sella
Who is he? Avid music enthusiast, passionate coffee drinker. You can find him most days selling bean juice over at the Coffee Spoon or hanging out at the park with his amazing daughter.
What to read: His passion for music and his rebellious teen daughter make a book like Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel a perfect choice to bond with this dad.
Joseph “Cool Youth Minister Dad” Christiansen
Who is he? If he’s not in church, you can catch this youth minister out on the open water, setting sail on the seas of adventure! He loves playing guitar and crushing his four kids at Candy Land.
What to read: If you’re looking to better understand the faith of this still-married dad, perhaps try a thoughtful essay collection like Movies Are Prayers: How Films Voice Our Deepest Longings by Josh Larsen.
Craig “Fitness Dad” Cahn
Who is he? Dad of three, business entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, and your avatar’s former college roommate.
What to read: Prep to spend more time with this dad by reading the Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, a book that explores multi-decade relationships like yours with Craig.
Hugo “Teacher Dad” Vega
Who is he? Middle school and High school teacher, writer of scholarly articles on 18th century literature. Major bookworm.
What to read: Really get into the mindset of how books can affect your life with Ann Hood’s memoir Morningstar: Growing Up With Books. Bonus: it’s brand-new, so maybe Hugo hasn’t read it yet and you can recommend it to him!
Brian “Rival Dad” Harding
Who is he? Your in-game rival is super proud of his prodigy daughter. His hobbies include fishing, grilling, and construction.
What to read: Pick up some survival skills in Gabriel Tallent’s novel My Absolute Darling, which happens to have a young girl as its protagonist — a possible way to bond with Brian over his beloved daughter.
Damien “Goth Dad” Bloodmarch
Who is he? This dad loves long strolls through graveyards, true crime podcasts, taxidermy, Victorian fashion, and spending time with his son.
What to read: Lean into this dad’s love of true crime and history with City of Light, City of Poison: Magic, Murder, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker.
Robert “Bad Dad” Small
Who is he? The game’s only dad to be estranged from his daughter, Robert can be most often found brooding into a glass of whisky.
What to read: There is no shortage of hard-drinking, damaged antiheroes in crime fiction, but we’d suggest Attica Locke’s Black Water Rising for the way its antihero confronts his inner demons.